The History of the Millstream
The main body of the Millstream was in fact originally three 17th century workmen’s cottages bordered by a fast flowing stream called “The Bosham Stream”. William Marwick, a local builder, lived here and a stone tablet with WM1701 can still be seen on the front of the building. In 1899 a Mr Trevett is given as the owner of “The Grange”, which in 1919 was leased as a small guesthouse. Adjacent to The Grange to the east, were three further cottages, including the barn-like building, which juts out south towards the stream. After the 2nd World War, the barn became the Bosham Sea School. In 1965 the Grange was re-named The Millstream Hotel and it wasn’t long before villagers started calling the “Bosham Stream” the “Millstream”. In 1972 the hotel was sold to Peter Stevens, a London wine merchant, who cleverly added the extension to the west of the building, which is now the bar. In 1976 the Wild family bought the hotel and in 1980 they also acquired The Sea School and the other two cottages, incorporating all three into the hotel. They continued to develop the property, into the thirty five bedroomed prestigious hotel that it is today.
The Millstream Today
The Millstream nestles in the heart of Old Bosham, an historic village on the shores of Chichester Harbour, combining the elegance of a small English country house with the character and charm of an eighteenth century malthouse cottage.
The Bar offers a cosy fireside setting in which to relax. On warm days a door opens onto the lawns where you can sit beneath a sunshade and listen to the chatter of the ducks. The charming sitting room, with its deep cushioned armchairs, grand piano, bowls of freshly cut flowers and tranquil atmosphere, is the ideal place to meet up with friends over a afternoon tea or an aperitif, to play a quiet game of cards or just settle down and while away the hours with a good novel.
The Restaurant, overlooking the pretty gardens, offers a varied selection of modern British dishes, prepared with the best available fresh, seasonal, local produce, which are complemented by a list of fine wines from an established cellar.
Each enchanting bedroom has been attractively styled to enhance its individual character and outlook. All have en-suite facilities, flat screen television, wi-fi internet access, radio/CD alarm clock, tea & coffee making facilities, mini-fridge with complimentary mineral water & fresh milk, direct dial telephone, wall safe, trouser press and hairdryer.
The Gardens that surround the hotel are carefully tended and provide a wonderful place to relax in the warmer weather. Overlooking the stream in the side garden is an oak Gazebo which was built for a Wild family wedding and which now provides shelter from the rain or sun. In the summer months there are tables and chairs at which you can enjoy morning coffee, a light lunch, afternoon tea, a cocktail before dinner or an al fresco meal as the sun comes down.
The Village of Bosham
The ancient villageof Bosham(pronounced Bozz’m) has a long and interesting history. There is evidence of occupation before the Romans came here; which included the finding of a Celtic stone head. Holy Trinity Church dates to Saxon times but was probably built on the ruins of a Roman basilica.
Legend tells that a fleet of pirates once sailed up Bosham Channel to plunder the village and Church. They captured the tenor bell, but as they made off back down the channel, the bell fell through the bottom of the boat and sank into Bell Hole. On a still day, when the church bells ring, it is said that its muffled tones can be heard below the water, chiming in unison.
Some historians think King Canute lived here and that his daughter is buried in the church at the bottom of the Chancel steps. Canute is believed to have tried to turn back the tide here but he probably just built a dyke across the creek to re-claim the land. It wasn’t a great success! In Saxon times, under the Charter of Bosham, a Man of Bosham, who had to be the son of a Man of Bosham, born here and who earned his living by the sea i.e. fisherman, boat builder and/or seaman, were given a number of rights, including free moorings throughout the realm, free pannage, tollage and murage and many other privileges. Bosham is thought by many to be the birth and burial place of the last Saxon King – Harold II (of 1066 fame). He is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry praying in Bosham Church before sailing to Normandy to parley with William: as to who should have the throne of England on the death of Edward the Confessor. In the Domesday Book of 1086, Bosham is recorded as being one of the wealthiest manors in England. It was long rumoured that there was an underground passage linking The Manor House to the church, amongst others, into which people have fallen from time to time.
Bosham was an important medieval port in ChichesterHarbour, one of only three places in the harbour where wine could be landed. During the plague year of 1664, when a man was thought to have died of the disease in the Chichester, the citizens closed the city gates and asked for those outside to bring food to the people within. In gratitude the tradesmen of Bosham could sell their goods in Chichesterwithout a hawker’s license. Fishing, oyster fishing, brick making and boat building were all local industries. The Raptackle, a black wooden structure at the end of the quay was once used to sort oysters and also to make ropes and repair nets. Unfortunately limpets attacked the oysters and the trade was killed in 1922. However the oysters are returning toChichesterHarbour.
Bosham Sailing Club (whose badge is a red bell on a white background) is in the old water mill on Bosham Quay. Quay Meadow, a grassy area between the Church and the Quay, is owned by the National Trust and is a marvelous place to sit and watch the activity on and around the water. In the High Street you can discover the Anchor Bleu, an inn since 1741. It is an ideal location from which to observe the ‘Bosham Car Wash’. Sea water covers the roads around the shore twice a day and also the vehicles of hapless drivers, who foolishly ignore the warning signs and leave their cars parked there within 2 hours of high tide! Nearby is Bosham Walk, once a garage, owned by Glyn Martin and which is now an arts and crafts centre.
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The Millstream Hotel & Restaurant